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Friday, June 22, 2012

Quick Gardening with Children

My kids love gardening, but their attention spans aren't too long, especially in this triple-digit heat.  I aim to get us outside every day to do something in the yard, like pull weeds or water the edibles.  Someday that will be our reality.

Around Mother's Day, Home Depot's kids workshop project was a small planter, in which a Home Depot employee planted a bell pepper plant.

The plants were too big for the planters to begin with, and, within a couple of weeks, the roots were pushing the plants up out of the dirt.  We finally had no choice but to replant.  Ellie got bored with the dirt scooping, but Mikey would have completely buried the plant had I given him the opportunity.  That night, he told his daddy he "played with dirt!"

I let both kids place the plants in the new pots, teaching them to grab the plants by the stems close to the roots.  They both did great.  Not a leaf was lost.

Finally, we couldn't find the watering can.  It really is a great mystery.  My best guess is it somehow flew out of the yard during a windstorm, but we haven't really had that good of a storm yet.  It'll probably resurface eventually.  In the meantime, I grabbed the tugboat (or crab boat, as Ellie says) pouring toy out of the bathtub.  Sadly, it was too shallow to effectively transport water in little, shaky hands.  I ended up taking the hose to the two plants.  Ellie was long gone by this time, and Mikey was too busy trying to keep adding dirt to his to notice he didn't get to use the water.

Mikey helped me place the plants back in their spot on the patio, and, impressively, did not spill any dirt in the process.

When we got back inside, I thought it was a good time to finally bust into the $1 plants I bought at Walgreens after Easter  They are eggs with faces that have seeds that grow into hair.  (No, they're not Chia Pets.)  The top cracks off when the shell is adequately wet, revealing the seeds inside.  I decided the best way to apply the water was using a custard dish and tablespoon.  Besides minimizing the mess and improving fine motor skills, watering took longer this way, making the task more fun.

One of these days, my kids will really be able to help in the garden.  Until then, we'll keep seeking out these quick gardening projects to keep them interested and learning!

1 comment:

  1. Cute ideas!! Looks like they had a lot of fun :)